Ben Folts— Actor, puppeteer, geek extraordinaire. Ben started making costumes for himself at a very young age. He didn’t really see any costumes that he liked, and he wasn’t a fan of the generic Dracula or Frankenstein’s monster, so he decided to make his own.
“It started with because I was bored and stores didn’t have the costumes I wanted— they didn’t have a toilet, they didn’t have a hoover vacuum cleaner. But then I realized how much fun it was, and it became a point of pride.” Yes, these costumes included a toilet (which he reused many years), a hoover vacuum cleaner, and bagpipes. In his college years, he continued this trend of making his own costumes for Halloween and comic con— though themed towards movies. He made a BB-8 costume out of trash, and was a shining twin.
And that’s something that Ben loves to do— he loves taking old junk and making it into something entertaining as a way to tell his story. He says he’d much rather have someone look at something funny and go, “Wait… is that… is that BB-8?” Than have a very accurate costume that everyone would immediately recognize. His room is covered in puppets made in this way, with recycled bits from good will. His Ewok Costume he made for Comic Con was just a child’s teddy bear onesie that he happened upon at a good will.
With his geeky attitude, love of theatre, and enjoyment of making costumes, it was a surprise that Ben had never been to comic con. This was his first time.
“Honestly one of the biggest things was how many non costumed people there were…” “You get there and the vast majority of people were wearing graphic tees.” Ben was surprised and quite amused that even in the geek capital of the east coast, he felt like he still stood out. “Here I am dressed like a little Ewok among a bunch of normally dressed people.” He laughs.
All of this, for Ben— Comic Con, Acting, puppetry, costume making—for him it’s all connected in the art of the story. He’s a jack of all trades, master of none, but better than a master of one— trying to tell as many different stories in as many different ways as he can.
About the Contributors
Senior / Film
Tyler Davey is a fifth year Senior at Penn State University from Hershey, Pennsylvania. He is pursuing a degree in Film/Video with a ENTI minor. Tyler is currently a Post Production Executive at CommAgency, and in the past has interned for Palinka Pictures, CNET, and WPSUSports. His major, his internship, his work are all motivated by a passion for film making and story telling— telling those stories through film, writing, and acting.